V7 White label documentation for using a custom login form


Hi Cory

I noticed that in the current v7 docs there is no section “White-labeling” as per in the v5

Particularly the “Using a custom login form” section, is this still applicable for v7 with the update to the form action url to v7 login ?

<form method="post" action="https://edit.surrealcms.com/login">



Custom login forms used a form post to “trick” the CMS into logging you in. It was added by request to offer a more customized login page since the logo and app name couldn’t be changed.

In the new version, when you’re using you.clientcms.com, your branding will be shown on the login page. (Since the subdomain is linked to your account now, it’s possible to show the correct branding even before users login.)

As such, I didn’t spent time on recreating the same behavior as before.


Thats great, thanks for the update Cory.



Hi Cory

I have another question about the white-labeling user’s manual.

Are you planning to do white-labeling user’s manual pdf like in V5 ?




I wasn’t planning on it, since the client’s view is pretty simple. It only shows them the site(s) they have access to and the pages. Within two clicks, they’re in the editor and changing content.

The user’s manually was carried over from an older version before inline editing. I think it made more sense for that because it wasn’t as obvious how to edit various content regions.

If there’s enough demand, I’ll work on an updated manual — just have some other things on my plate (plus the V5 ==> V7 upgrade) to work on first.


Thanks for the update on the user manual.

Going back to the “custom login form” we can now add a logo to the custom login form which is great, but can we have an option to also add background image or bg color and maybe google fonts to the “custom login form” page?

This would help synch the branding of this page with the rest website.

Thanks Cory


That’s a cool idea. There’s also the light/dark logo, so I could autodetect brightness and use the appropriate logo.


The auto switch of the logos would be sweet.
Thanks Cory



Different logos for dark and light mode would be cool indeed.


Hi Cory,
I think it is very important if the older manner of connecting to the CMS - on a custom domain form on the client’s website - will be available on version 7.
Right now, if a client searches in google “clientcms.com”, all results are with Surreal CMS and therefore, all the effort of white labeling is for nothing.
At the moment, we use version 5 of the cms; the clients log in via a form on their website, and the url of cms is on our server, also we tell the clients to add exception to the browser to login in the cms, which creates a little panic to them when they see “connection not secure”.
We consider it is not quite OK using only customsubdomain.clientcms.com to login to the cms.
Please tell us how to solve this.
Thank you,
Best regards,


When the login form is on your website, as soon as they hit submit they’re sent to edit-content.com so I’m not sure what the difference is. The URL still changes in the address bar.

This is pretty common with white-label services. For example, Campaign Monitor uses example.createsend.com and if you google that you’ll see their marketing website in the top results as well.

I think the idea of white-labeling is misunderstood, and I don’t understand where the fear of a client finding out you’re using a white-label service actually comes from.

What I’ve learned from doing this for 10 years is that clients don’t care if you’ve built your own CMS, your own email marketing system, or your own support software. It would be silly for an agency to do that, and you’d spend more time building and tweaking your own tools than actually working with clients.

What you’re doing with these services is building a cohesive, branded solution for them — that’s what they’re paying for, and it’s probably not something they could have built themselves.

If you tell a client “I built this system” then you’re essentially lying. You don’t have to volunteer information, but if a client asks you about a service you’re using the best answer is an honest one:

“After careful review, I’ve chosen this solution because it’s the best fit for this project’s requirements. It’s branded for our organization to provide a familiar and cohesive experience for you and your team.”

Are you worried that one day a client will google your white-label domain and find out how much you’re paying for it? Because if you’re charging clients residually then your price should be based on ALL the services you provide them as a package, not just one in particular. This can include a CMS, a marketing suite, design retention, web hosting, domain registration, content editing, and anything else you’re providing for them.

Clients know that you’re using third-party services, just like they know you’re using a web hosting provider. It’s not sensible for them to say, “you’re only paying $X/mo for this one service, why are you charging me more?”

And in 10+ years of doing this, I’ve never had a single customer tell me that this happened. I’ve only heard similar fears that it might happen, and I think it’s a baseless fear. :man_shrugging:t2:

I’m not going to reiterate the problem of HTTPS + CNAMEs. I hope to add support for custom domains at some point, but right now I have to prioritize bug fixes and upgrades.

There’s no rush to upgrade, by the way. If you want to stay on version 5 for awhile, that’s fine. Due to the HTTPS issue, it’s probably going to be around for longer than I’d prefer.


My thoughts were similar to akata but more recently my position has changed. While it would be great to have custom domains, it’s not a necessity and clients won’t care provided you offer them a decent service and package everything up.

What is the best way of describing a white labelled Surreal CMS to a client? Do I just say that I have my own content management system but don’t say that I did or didn’t build it?

Exactly and don’t allow the client to pick just one service from that bundle. Offer all of the services for one price per month… they will see value in paying $30 a month for Hosting, CMS and Analytics then $10 just to edit their site. Just like you see value in paying $30 a month for mobile credit/data.

I have a solution to this problem. It’s very much a workaround and will add extra latency to the CMS. I’m waiting for a good time to publish a tutorial on how to set it up.


You don’t need to volunteer information, but if they happen to ask you there’s nothing wrong with telling them the truth. Like I said, they don’t expect you to build your own apps from scratch. They expect you to setup a working solution with whatever tool(s) make sense to help solve their problems.